I don’t know about you, but my preschoolers love to make a mess. The dirtier, the better. They like to squeeze, squish, and squelch anything they can get their tiny hands-on! Mud, shaving cream, playdough, slime, soap, lotion, water table, sand… you name it, they love it! I try to take advantage of their love of all things squishy because, as a teacher, I know that these activities are developing fine motor skills. Fine motor skills are important because they enable children to do an abundance of self-care like putting on socks and shoes, zipping up jackets, feeding themselves appropriately. This mama is all about empowering her littles to do for themselves! Motor activities also develop the hand muscles that preschoolers use for writing. Even more importantly, there is research that suggests an association between motor and cognitive development in early childhood link. All the more reason to embrace the mess and let your littles play away! Here are 5 holiday-themed, fine motor boosting activities that will keep your littles busy this time of year!
Materials: shaving cream, large cookie sheet, Snow Writing cards
Put shaving cream (snow) on a cookie sheet and let your littles play away! They can use their fingers to draw and write in the snow. Print these Snow Writing Cards and let your littles copy the lines, letters, and numbers in the snow!
Materials: Piece of cardboard, scissors, contact paper or duct tape, pom poms, gems, sequins, beads tweezers
Cut a large Christmas tree shape out of the middle of a piece of cardboard. Stick contact paper or duct tape over the Christmas tree-shaped hole in the cardboard. Flip the cardboard over. Now the middle of the Christmas tree is filled with sticky paper or tape. Let the child decorate the sticky tree with various items like pom poms, sequins, gems, etc. For even more of a challenge, encourage your little one to use tweezers or tongs to pick up the decorations and stick them on the tree.
Materials: Gallon freezer bag, clear gel, Cardstock Christmas tree, decorations like pom poms, gems, sequins, beads
Fill a gallon-sized freezer bag with a clear or green gel, like aloe vera, hair gel, baby oil gel, etc. Add sequins, beads, and/or gems. Seal up the bag. Be sure to remove all the air. Tape the top closed. Attach the gel bag over a piece of cardstock with a Christmas tree outline drawn on the center. Let your littles squish the decorations around inside the bag to decorate the tree.
Place a small present in a gift box. Wrap the gift box in wrapping paper many times. Have your little one unwrap the box to receive their gift.
Materials: 1 cup cornstarch, ½ cup hair conditioner, googly eyes, string or ribbon, beads, *optional white glitter
This is the simplest cloud dough ever! It smells great and feels light and fluffy. Mix corn starch and conditioner together to make a dough your littles can use to mold and create. Have your littles sculpt and decorate a snowman with beads, googly eyes, and ribbon.
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